7 Reasons Why You Need To Give Up Porn Now

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Watching pornography is hurting you more than you think.

Pornography is more pervasive and more accessible than ever before. It’s widely and freely available through the latest laptop, iPhone, or internet connection. What used to be something you had to actively go out and purchase, can not be obtained with a click of the nearest mouse or a tap on the nearest cellphone.

More people are watching porn than ever before and caring less about the fact that they do. According to research conducted by the Barna Group in 2015, men use porn more frequently than women by a wide margin. Practicing Christians are more than three times less likely to use porn than other teens and adults (13% compared to 42%), and young adults (57%) are much more likely than both teens (37%) or adults 25+ (29%) to be a frequent porn user.

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The Barna Group also reports that more and more people are caring less and less about the fact that they watch porn and don’t consider it that big of a deal.

Around half of adults 25 and older say viewing porn is wrong (54%), and among teens and young adults 13-24, only a third say viewing porn is wrong (32%). The vast majority reports that conversations with their friends about porn are neutral, accepting or even encouraging. They generally assume most people look at porn at least on occasion, and the morality of porn is rarely discussed or even considered.

In other words, people seem to be becoming desensitized to porn and its presence in our lives and society.

So why then is pornography something to be concerned about? For Christians seeking a closer relationship with God, the answer is simple. Pornography damages you and your relationship with Christ more than you may have considered. Here are seven reasons why you really need to give it up.

1.  Porn creates isolation

Watching porn is usually a solitary activity, done secretly, in private. Nobody comes home from work or school, plops down on the couch, and announces they’re going to check out some porn before dinner. No, we check to see if anyone is home, we sneak up to our room, lock the door, and pop on the headphones. It’s the very knowledge that you are up to something wrong that drives you to seek out dark places. The more you get into porn, the more you want to avoid others and create situations where you can be alone to indulge your desires. Even if you do watch porn with like-minded friends, it’s still a covert activity done in hiding.

2.  Porn produces anxiety

Because you’re doing something you inherently feel is wrong and that others would disapprove of, you don’t want to get caught doing it. Your heart is always racing, you’re always on alert, you’re always looking over your shoulder. When people come around unexpectedly, you jump. The worst scenario is getting caught or discovered. This puts the porn viewer in an almost constant state of agitation and anxiousness.

3.  Porn breeds dishonesty

If anyone ever catches you in the act, asks what’s wrong, why you’ve been locked up in your room for so long, or what you are up to you lie, cover up, and make excuses. Even when friends ask about your porn activities or preferences you scramble to tell an acceptable story, not really wanting anyone to know the full extent of what you’re involved in. Continued dishonesty breeds more anxiety.

4.  Porn fosters guilt and shame

Most people consider watching porn to be inherently “bad”. Even if you have no problems about it, think porn is great, healthy, socially acceptable, or whatever, it’s still pretty much tagged as something dirty, naughty, evil, or wrong. If you have any kind of moral character, doing wrong things causes you some level of remorse, and subsequently guilt and shame. You don’t see many people going around boasting with pride about all the great porn they watch. When people admit to watching porn, it’s done with downcast eyes and shuffling feet, and an acknowledgement that they having been behaving badly.

Christians suffer even more with the guilt and shame of watching porn. If you have accepted Christ, then the Holy Spirit dwells within you and causes you to be convicted by actions that do not honor Christ. We are taught how to deal with our convictions, but very often their presence leads our human bodies and minds towards guilt and shame. Guilt and shame are not states intended for us by God. Their presence makes us feel distant from a God that desires us to be close.

Shame was never intended to be part of sex or marriage. Married or single, guilt and shame are simply toxic.

 

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

 

5.  Porn messes with your understanding and expectations of relationships

If you’re going to learn about life, love, sex, and relationships by watching porn, then you are definitely going to be learning the wrong things. But, unfortunately, that’s what happening to the avid porn watcher.

Porn imparts a twisted, surreal, and essentially fictitious take on life.  You end up with very distorted pictures of how your body should look, how it should perform, what your partner wants, how your partner should look, and how relationships function. It causes you to view others as sexual objects and conquests. It distorts your view on healthy relationships and intimacy in those relationships.

If you expect your relationship to be like a porn movie, you’re in for a rude awakening. If you expect your relationship to function like those in porn movies, you’re going to have trouble developing a healthy relationship.

6.  Porn literally re-wires your head

Researchers have found that watching pornography has subtle, yet substantial effects upon your brain. It literally damages the wiring.

Eating something good, drinking something satisfying, having sex, taking certain drugs, or even getting approval such as “likes” of your social media posts, can all trigger the release of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, a chemical that gets released by your nerve cells that transmits signals to your other nerve cells. It plays a key role in your brain’s basic reward response system. Simply put, when you experience something pleasurable, dopamine gets released and makes you feel that pleasure.  Unfortunately, too much of a good thing can mess up the system.

The more the system is stimulated, the more it becomes desensitized to the stimulus and the more stimulation it needs for you to feel that rush. In effect, the circuitry becomes damaged.

When you look at porn, dopamine floods your brain, causing you to feel pleasure. Over time, you associate the porn with the pleasure. Frequent “doses” eventually lead to the need for bigger and more frequent doses to feel that pleasure. You just keep needing more and more. And so addiction sets in. Our sex drive is natural and sexual intimacy within marriage is God given. When our drive for pleasure evolves from simply motivating us towards intimacy with our spouse and becomes an outside dominating and controlling force, that’s addiction.

7.  Supporting porn means supporting a whole lot of evil

Beyond the detrimental effects of porn on you personally are the detrimental effects it has on society. When you watch porn, whether you pay for it or not, you are essentially supporting a lot of darkness. You don’t have to scratch the surface very hard to find an industry drenched in evil. From sex slavery, human trafficking, and child pornography, to kidnapping, drugs, and organized crime, porn is a global and societal cancer. No, you may not be giving money to it, but your viewing activities are the demand that fuels the supply. Something to think about next time you hit the Play button.

 

If you struggle with watching porn or feel like you’re in the grips on an addiction, seek help. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Rise above it all and seek out a trusted friend or counselor. Get an accountability partner. Join a church group.

Giving up pornography can be a struggle, but God doesn’t give us any temptations that we cannot escape from.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 

 

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